Does Sunscreen Work in Tanning Beds?

Author: Samantha Cook
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Sunscreen DOES work in tanning beds.

How the Sun Produces a Tan

The sun emits ultra-violet rays that when penetrated by the skin will produce the brown pigment melanin.  UVB rays are the short-wave rays that cause a sunburn to result on the surface of the skin. UVA rays are the long-wave rays that penetrate deep into the skin and produce a tan. Some combination of both rays is necessary for a tan. A tan is the body's reaction to cell damage caused by these UV rays. 

How a Tanning Bed Produces a Tan 

Tanning beds operate with bulbs that emit UV radiation in a spectrum similar to the sun. If you are using a sunscreen that blocks UV rays, it will also be effective in a tanning bed.  It is important to note that tanning beds can emit up to twice as much skin damaging radiation as the sun.

Though wearing sunscreen when exposed to UV rays is better than wearing no sunscreen, there is no safe way to tan.

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Works Cited

US Food and Drug Administration
"Indoor Tanning: The Risks of Ultraviolet Rays"
http://www.fda.gov/

American Academy of Dermatology
"Facts about Sunscreens"
http://www.aad.org/

Health Physics Society
"Sun Tanning and Tanning Booths"
http://www.hps.org/

purple arrowCite this Article

"Does Sunscreen Work in Tanning Beds?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/does-sunscreen-work-in-tanning-beds.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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